Thatscricket - News - India aims at series win, extra spinner to be included

Published: Tuesday, August 21, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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Colombo: The Indians exploited the chinks in the Sri Lankan batting order very effectively in the Kandy Test and would hope to do the same in the deciding match starting on Wednesday as it aims for a rare series victory abroad.Zaheer Khan and Venkatesh Prasad performed magic on the fast and bouncy pitch of Kandy but the visitors might be tempted to play with an extra spinner here if the wicket offers some help to the slow bowlers.Sources in the team management on Monday indicated that either Rahul Sanghvi or Sairaj Bahutule, both of whom are yet to play a match on this tour, might be included in the team in place of Harvinder Singh but a final decision was expected only late in the afternoon on Tuesday or on the morning of the match.On its part, Sri Lanka is most likely to give left-hander Michael Vandort his debut match to bolster its batting. Captain Sanath Jayasuriya had blamed his batsmen for the loss in Kandy and Vandort's inclusion will certainly strengthen its chances.Vandort, who hit a century in the three-day game against India prior to the Test series, would be inducted as an opener, which would mean either Marvan Atapattu or Kumar Sangakkara would bat at number six. Media reports here have been critical of the continued presence of Suresh Perera in the team and he is the one likely to make way for Vandort. The all-rounder has very little to show for his achievements in the two Tests with captain Sanath Jayasuriya giving him just 12 overs in the first match and five in the next. He could not contribute much with the bat either.He was even reported for suspect action in the first Test by umpire Steve Bucknor and media has criticised the team management for persisting with Perera. The Indians, on the other hand, are bubbling with confidence after their seven-wicket win in Kandy. "The win showed we have the depth to deliver even without some of our best players. I could not have asked for more going into the final Test," skipper Saurav Ganguly said.The Indians had an optional practice session at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) on Monday morning while the hosts had a workout in the afternoon. It was at the same ground in 1993 that India had last won a series abroad and if the performance in Kandy was any indication, it is well set to repeat that feat. PTI


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